Ricker's 88-89 Merlin


Dirt Disciple
This is a bike similar to one that I ordered back in 1987 and is one that I regret selling. In '87 I saw the Joe Murray article with his titanium bike and decided that that was the bike I wanted next. My LBS owner knew who made the frame and ordered one for me. I couldn't really afford it but I always had bikes worth much more than my car so I made it work. I am still looking for my original frame- it was a little different, it had a U-brake on the chainstays but this one is close- same size just a couple of hundred #'s after mine and U-brake on the seat stays. This one has had a hard life but the dents are in the least stressed areas of the bike so I am not worried. It still rides like the titanium noodle I remember. IMG_9243.JPG

Bad photo of a photo of my original:

Frame: 88 or 89 Merlin #657

Fork: Tange

Headset: XT 730
Stem: Salsa w/roller
Handlebar: Salsa aluminum
Grips: WTB
Barends: nada

Brakes: McMahon scissor rear, XT 730 front
Brake Pads: Kool stop low profile (not vintage), Mathauser finned front
Brake Cables: Shimano lg diameter (6mm?)
Cantilever cable hangers: XT 730
Brake Levers: Dia-Compe SS5

Shifters: XT 730 6 spd
Front Derailleur: XT 730 band clamp
Rear Derailleur: XT 730
Derailleur Cables: shimano
Cassette: XT 730 6 spd
Chain: Shimano
Cranks: XT 730 170mm
Crank Bolts: Shimano
Chainrings: Shimano 730 silver
Chainring bolts: shimano
Bottom Bracket: Merlin
Pedals: XT 730

Hub Skewers: Ringle Holey (original
Rims: Araya RM-395 32 hole
Hubs: XT 730
Nipples: Wheelsmith
Spokes: Wheelsmith DB-14
Tyres: Smoke/Dart (new)

Saddle: Ideale Rebour signature w/alloy rail
Seatpost: 1st gen McMahon
Seatpost Binder: Ringle Holey w/seat leash (for the breweries)

Weight: 22.6 lbs./10.25 kg
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Dirt Disciple
Bitd I evolved this bike over the years. The original photo is from I believe 1992-3. Some of the parts are obviously newer than 88-89. I built this one up to be an approximate version that I had at one time. I never had the Tange fork but ran across this one locally so I thought it would look good. The mojo is something special that one of my oldest best friends made- I have a few different ones from him. This one was made for this exact litespeed stem which I was lucky to find. My friend was murdered a few years ago while out on a mountain bike ride and there is no suspect. I miss him and would love to share this bike with him since it brings back so many good memories with him.



Dirt Disciple
The seat came from A European bike trip in 1982 and I rode that saddle until 1991 when the flite came out. I was touring on the latest & greatest stumpjumper with a new avocet saddle which was killing me so I found this limited edition, pre-softened Rebour Ideale with alloy rail and copper rivets in a shop in Germany. It made the rest of the trip great. Took the bike all through Greece. Great memories of that trip! That saddle is still surprisingly comfortable. The seatpost is also one I have owned since new-



Retro Guru
You've come out with some spectacular bikes overnight! The story about your friend's murder is shocking. Do tell more about the 'mojo' as you call it - a native American thing by the look of the bead-work?


Dirt Disciple
Yes, lurking for a long time- My wife is sick with covid so we have been isolating and I am just waiting to get sick so I thought it was time to post and add to this community.

Yes, you are spot on about the native American look. My friend loved Lakota culture and they kind of took him in a bit. He would make these beaded leather pieces for your stem and we called them our mojo pieces. One wouldn't ask for one, he would think about the person and make them a symbolic design style that he felt represented the person. I have a few so I will put them on my vintage bikes so I can ride with him in spirit.
His death hit the cycling community pretty hard. Doubtful that they will ever catch the person(s) responsible. He was riding in an area that had vagrant "campers" and meth camps. I haven't ridden there since but after his death they cleaned up the area - it was Mount Herman in Palmer Lake Colorado where he lived. The riding there is nice with lots of climbing



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Loving your original one with the chainstay u-brake :cool:

Sorry to read about your friend. That's just awful


Dirt Disciple
I like the chainstay U-brake too- really has a clean look. Thanks- for the thoughts- it has been five years now so some water under the bridge. He was the kind of person that would have confronted people destroying nature and told that they need to leave…